“And when we had fallen into sin
and become subject to evil and death,
you, in your mercy sent Jesus Christ,
to share our human nature,
to live and die as one of us.”
I have felt those words go under my skin this past week. Redeemer was right. The only thing you need to teach is the Love of God. Walk in love. Love what is human. See us for who we are.
High clouds returned this morning. At 10:00 the temperature was still 47. Stopped by the post office where another letter from Dad awaited. Then I went to see Susan. There had been a death in the family a year ago today, and I wanted them all to know I had been praying for them. Over her fine, dark coffee, Susan told me about a friend she had met in California when the two of them were down there sewing for Steven Segal – I mean, wow! The friend was leaving for a ten day silent Buddhist retreat. Susan asked if I had ever done that. Someday, maybe. I know enough about Buddhist retreats to know that they are serious. One meal a day. Sitting for hours. Not like our elegant getaways at the Bishop’s Ranch, not at all. I told her that though I’m not sure I could keep quiet for ten days that I have a lot of time for Buddhism and that I was trying to teach our children to meditate, because it helped them find their own inner strength in the face of so much distraction and negativity. It takes two wings to fly the bird: wisdom and compassion. Love God, love your neighbor. Find happiness by praying that the sufferings of others may be lifted.
Not that I have suffered at all, but thanks to my benefactor for turning on the boiler. It is a blessing to have hot water.
Just as I realized I could now wash dishes, two of my young friends arrived and asked if they might join me for dinner. I cooked up a pot of rice, vegetables and fish, quite delighted to have company again. Chelsey regaled me with sayings. If girls sing at the table, they will get lazy boyfriends. If food falls from your plate, or earrings from your ears, it’s because a spirit wants it. She showed me a spirit plate. A little goes a very long way. Spirits, it seems, are hungry the world over. Odysseus got into the underworld because he fed the shades. HH the Dalai Lama, who is advanced enough to be able to see hungry ghosts, always carries a little brush to sweep them aside without hurting them. The Northern Lights are alive with spirits. I know this is true. I felt them in the aurora over Greenland, looking at me from the heavens, like the passing ancestors in their beautiful blankets that I may or may not have seen crossing Meier Lake at midnight on the summer solstice in 2006.
The girls asked me if I would come back to them in the winter. I said that if God was willing, I’d be back for the Iditarod. They told me how they made gift bags for all the mushers and how they said prayers for Karen Ramstead when Snickers got sick at this checkpoint. I remembered the whole story so well that it felt like I was sharing real flesh and blood memories with them.
Called Anna Frank in Fairbanks and gave her a report of my doings. She told me to be sure and get down to Anvik and Shageluk. T. and Abby offered to take me down Sunday afternoon. We could do a service at 2 and be back in time for our service at 7. I plan to call Anvik in the morning and see if this will work.
There is definitely a cold making the rounds, and I am definitely still flirting with laryngitis, but I am grateful for another day and all my children. I took their pictures today for an art project Monday. Scroll down and you can see them. Blessings.